Friday, June 21, 2013

The Skinny -- Drinky Time with the Cocktail Collection

The cocktail collection is officially closed.  Well, supposedly.  She says it is; I keep buying things.  And she keeps buying things, too.

Just like it's her fault I now own this book.  She's the Blackbird that found this amazing little blue book on its shelf in the Salvation Army this week.  Of course I had to buy it.  Duh.

From 1951, The Bartender's Book, written by Jack Townsend and Tom Moore McBride, is a quintessential guide to the best of the best in the world of cocktails.  It's so witty and of the time, that I'm reading it like a novel.  And parts of it are laugh-out-loud funny.

These guys really got into the mind of the American drinker -- from typecasting bar customers to the watering down of classic cocktails through bluster and ignorance.  They also dip into the history of cocktails and their components.

I was slightly miffed that there is no Vodka section -- since I'm personally a vodka drinker.  They focus on gin, rum, whiskey, brandy, applejack, and scotch drinks.  But, really, there's not that many recipes in here overall.  Townsend and McBride liked good, solid, classic cocktails.  They included a list of the top 40 drinks served in 1950, with the survey information provided by the New York Bartender's Union.  The top five were:

1. Manhattan
2. Martini
3. Daiquiri
4. Whiskey Sour
5. Old-Fashioned 

And they didn't believe in all those fancy-schmancy themed cocktails.  There's a section where they harpoon the customers that want them -- called Freak Drinks.  Which oddly enough, contains a drink that has since become a classic cocktail, the Bloody Mary.  Seems it was just a trendy drink when the book was written.

Here's the most jaw-dropping concoction I saw in the Freak Drinks section.  I say to this recipe -- "I will never drink you, because you would kick my ass!"  (You may know about a Zombie -- bear with me, I'm not a rum drinker and have never heard its contents before.)

1 oz. amber rum
1 oz. silver rum
1 oz. Jamaica rum
1/2 oz. cherry brandy
1/2 oz. apricot brandy
juice of half lime
1 dash papaya juice
1/2 oz. 150-proof Jamaica rum

Fill a 14 oz Zombie glass half full of finely cracked ice.  Put in the ingredients and stir.  Top with the 150-proof Jamaica rum.  Decorate with a sprig of mint.  Serve with straws.

Here's the recipe for their number 1 cocktail, the Manhattan. Thought you might like to know if you're making it right...

2/3 rye
1/3 Italian vermouth
dash of Angostura bitters

Stir with ice.  Decorate with maraschino cherry.

Sounds simple enough!


(Now where's the vodka...)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

On the Radar -- Falling for Olive

So we've all heard by now that emerald green is the color of the year.  But -- did you know that olive green is the color of the fall?  

Neither did I.  Until I started looking at the fall collections.
It's everywhere.  Every designer seems to have at least a few accents of olive, if not a whole collection of it.  Poor emerald green.

Phillip Lim 3.1, Pre-Fall 2013
Brian Atwood DEA boot, Pre-Fall 2013
Ted Rossi Tribeca Clutch, Fall 2013
Pamella Roland, Fall 2013

And, hell, look at this Gucci lineup!  It's all olive green!

I feel bad for you, emerald green.  Here you thought it was your time to shine, and your dull cousin olive has stolen the spotlight.  Granted, he was in Pantone's color trend list, too, so we shouldn't be all that surprised.  I mean, they called him lichen green, but it's really just old olive with a fancy name.

Maybe next time, emerald.  Just let olive have the glory for now...

Our addition to the lineup, this vintage velvet jacket, available here.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Junk Love Monday: Doxie Love

We're dog people (and cat people), but we have a particular fondness for dachshunds, which works out, because one lives with us. She barks at doorbell sounds on television, has an uncanny sense of when bath time is supposed to happen, and she snores. In fact, her sleepy wheezing is keeping me company as I write this post. So, I figured that today could be about weenies (dogs, that is).

Weenies are fun! You can have them on a hankie:

Or in political cartoons:

1937 cartoon, on
 You can let them sell you beer:

Chalkware Frankenmuth beer advertisement, on ebay

Or ring in the new year (ha! rhyming blogs....):

Vintage holiday card
  You can teach them tricks (which they will then use to manipulate you):

1950 Good Housekeeping
 Or buy them as art (note the elegant nuances of dog butt):

1950 paper collage, available here
 You can let them open your wine (and then pour out your sorrows to them--they never judge):

1950s Walter Bosse corkscrew, available here
(Or, you can let them introduce your mid-century enamel collection. Where can I find that Cathrineholm????)

 You can pin one to your sweater:

We have one, but you can get yours here

Or have deep, philosophical discussions....
Hagenauer Hans Boller doxie, available here
 You can loan one your umbrella:

Vintage Vera scarf

Or even your bathing suit (which it will then burrow inside and fall asleep...and snore):

Elvgren pinup

 Even Ginger's got a doxie! You should get one, too. 
Ginger Rogers, Weekend at the Waldorf